Undergraduate Laboratories

Undergraduate Laboratories


Undergraduate chemistry lab courses are offered year-round in Morehead Labs to around 5,000 students from across the university. Our mission is to create a safe and collaborative environment in which students connect and explore modern chemical concepts through inquiry guided experimentation and research. Our vision is developing skillful, engaged, and innovative scientists.

Undergraduate Labs


The Department of Chemistry is committed to providing a safe and productive environment for both students and staff. The highest standards of scholarship can only be attained in an environment that emphasizes a Culture of Safety. All laboratories are required to adhere to safety rules and regulations. In 2018, the Department of Environment, Health, and Safety and the Department of Chemistry received the Safety Stratus College and University Health and Safety Award.

Undergraduate Labs

General Information

  • Lab Check-In: See your course Sakai site for information regarding check-in.
  • TA Office Hours: Located in MH408A – hours vary with each course
  • UG TA Opportunities: Read more about Undegraduate Teaching.
  • UG Prep Staff: Through the Federal Work Study Program, undergraduates are hired to assist with daily operations of Morehead Labs including reagent preparations, delivery of chemicals and supplies, set up of instrumentation and equipment, and removal of hazardous waste. If you are interested, please apply.
  • Placement/Competency Exams

Lab Placement/Competency Exam, and Lab placement exams are offered only on the first Friday of the Fall Semester.

Teaching Awards

Does your TA deserve a teaching award? Please consider nominating your TA for a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Graduate Teaching Assistants, or a Student Undergraduate Teaching and Staff Award, SUTASA.


Nitrile gloves and disposable lab coats are recycled in Morehead Labs. The program has received Right Cycle awards in 2016 and 2018 for recycling nitrile gloves. Over 1500 lbs of gloves and about 5000 lab coats are recycled annually.


Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences, CUREs, are courses in which students learn technical skills to tackle cutting-edge research questions. The following lab courses follow the CURE design or include a CURE module: CHEM245L, CHEM262L, CHEM290, CHEM520L, and CHEM530L.

Undergraduate Labs

Madeline Cooke, standing, transplants lettuce with other volunteers at the Carolina Campus Community Garden. Cooke began volunteering there each Sunday after taking a chemistry class that required her to do service time in the garden.

In these courses, neither the student nor the professor knows the answer to the questions. This is real research, not step-by-step procedures from lab manuals as done by thousands of students before. Besides answering novel questions, a CURE has four other characteristics:

  1. There are chances for students to fail and try again
  2. Students take ownership of their project
  3. There is meaningful collaboration with peers
  4. Students communicate their findings outside the classroom.

Read more about CURE-ious Chemistry


In all lab courses, you will utilize modern instrumentation including pH probes, UV-Vis spectrometers, gas chromatographs, photoreactors, potentiostats, and benchtop NMRs. Students enrolled in higher labs (levels 400 and 500) will have the opportunity to work with more advanced instrumentation, including a microwave reactor, FT-IR spectrometer, high pressure liquid and capillary electrophoresis chromatographs (HPLC and CE), and gel permeation chromatograph (GPC). In addition, some courses utilize instrumentation housed within our departmental facilities, including mass spectrometry and high strength NMR instrumentation.

Office: 102 Morehead Labs, 115 South Road, 919-962-2095, open during lab sessions; lost and found.